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ASA Adjudication on Vodafone Ltd

Vodafone Ltd

Vodafone House
The Connection
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2FN

Date:

29 February 2012

Media:

Internet (on own site)

Sector:

Computers and telecommunications

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

A11-177010

Ad

A website ad accessed in October 2011, for voice activated mobile phone software "Siri". The ad stated, "Simply ask Siri to help you send messages, set reminders or search for information. It understands not only what you say but also what you mean, so you can speak naturally. It can even use information from your iPhone - such as your location, contacts and contact relationships - to provide intelligent, personal assistance." A footnote stated, " ... Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area ..."

Issue

The complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading because it did not make it clear enough that location-based Siri functionality only worked in the United States.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Vodafone Ltd (Vodafone) stated that, due to an arrangement they had in place with them, the content of the ad complained of was supplied by Apple.  Apple therefore provided a substantive response to the complaint, which was supported by Vodafone.

Apple maintained that the ad was accurate and truthful.  They stated that location, contacts, and contact relationships were information that Siri collected and used in the UK to provide answers to questions, as stated in the ad. Apple said Siri used location information when answering enquiries about the weather. They pointed out that the ad showed images two iPhones one showing a weather forecast for Rome and the other showing Siri reminders. They said both of these functions worked in the UK and used location information.

Apple stated that Siri was not integrated with the maps application in the UK, and for that reason no map imagery had been used in its advertising. Apple said the marketing did not address, and could not reasonably be construed to address, the map functionality currently available in the US.

Assessment

Not upheld

The ASA noted Apple maintained that the ad referred only to services that were available in the UK.  We acknowledged that the ad made no explicit reference to Siri having maps-based functionality in the UK.  We noted that the ad stated, "[Siri] can even use information from your iPhone - such as your location, contacts and contact relationships - to provide intelligent, personal assistance."  We also noted that Siri used location information to answer queries about the weather.  We therefore considered that the claims made in the ad were accurate.  

We noted that there was a difference between Siri in the US and the UK in that, in the US, Siri interacted with the maps application to provide more location-based functionality.  We considered that some consumers may have had prior knowledge of what Siri was reportedly able to do in the US and, withthis knowledge, might read into the ad that Siri users in the UK would benefit from similar maps-based functionality.  However we did not consider that these consumers represented the average consumer in the UK and, because the ad in itself had not explicitly or implicitly made such claims, we concluded that the ad was not misleading.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), and 3.9 (Qualification) but did not find it in breach.

Action

No further action necessary.

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